Valve Says It's Not Responsible For 'CS:GO' Gambling

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Valve's legal counsel is on the offensive this week after explaining to the Washington State Gambling Commission why it believes that it is not responsible for CS:GO gambling. I'm not an expert but I think this whole thing could get pretty messy if the Commission decides to really pursue this.

In a copy of a letter to the Commission, sent by Valve to Engadget, the company's legal counsel Liam Lavery says there's "no factual or legal support" for the allegations. "As we have explained on multiple occasions, Valve is not engaged in gambling or the promotion of gambling, and we do not 'facilitate' gambling," Lavery states. "We were surprised and disappointed that the Commission chose to publicly accuse Valve of illegal activity and threaten our employees with criminal charges."
 

canmanone

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wa state needs to get out of the indian gambling monopoly. but they give too much money to the dems to keep it illigal to gamble in their house just pathetic
 
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I don't get it...

Don't the cosmetic items come out of user submissions to Steam Workshop?
Isn't it the users that drive the demand of these cosmetic items?
Aren't the sites that allow you to gamble these cosmetic items created by Steam users?
 

viscountalpha

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No. You can't turn a blind eye valve. I hope they do pursue this so valve can't get away with this nonsense. You can't have a small gambling establishment inside a retail location and then say "oh sorry we just turned a blind eye to that"
 

modi123

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Refresh me again - how is Valve responsible for some yahoos running around outside the game gambling on skins or guns? I mean as long as they do a reasonable job managing CS:Go and keep the gambling out of that how are they expected to control outside folks?
 

viscountalpha

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I don't get it...

Don't the cosmetic items come out of user submissions to Steam Workshop?
Isn't it the users that drive the demand of these cosmetic items?
Aren't the sites that allow you to gamble these cosmetic items created by Steam users?

Most items are sold by valve for real money and valve gets a cut each item sold. I know they take in quite a bit of cash from thousands of transactions each minute.
 

Bowman15

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The problem is Valve did nothing for so long to try and close the loop holes or at least slow it down until it got into the news when they knew it was happening. Then they did something. If you can do nothing about it then you're not responsible, but if you can then that makes you at least partly responsible.
 

SvenBent

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Most items are sold by valve for real money and valve gets a cut each item sold. I know they take in quite a bit of cash from thousands of transactions each minute.

So by your logic if I sell poker tokens to people that use it as representing real money. Since i earn some morny on selling the items they are gambling with i should be responsible for something i cant stop?

Or am i just totally missing the points and/or how this is actually being done?
 

DocFaustus

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I'm not up to date about this whole Valve gambling/transaction issue, so can someone what the issue is? More specifically, to the people that want it shut down: What is wrong with letting people gamble?
 

Iching

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I haven't seen more passive/aggressive company than Valve. I wish Amazon would take on them.
 

modi123

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I'm not up to date about this whole Valve gambling/transaction issue, so can someone what the issue is?
CS:GO’s controversial skin gambling, explained | PC Gamer

The gist is in Steam you can purchase/sell items.. then you have that item in the inventory, go to some gambling site to wager on what ever, and give them your item via a bot or what have you. If you win you get money or items or what ever that represent money. Basically folks are abusing Steam's market place by artificially assigning values to CSGO's in game trinket items.
 

Probleminfected

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wa state needs to get out of the indian gambling monopoly. but they give too much money to the dems to keep it illigal to gamble in their house just pathetic

Remember all the non Indian casinos that used to exist but closed because they couldn't make Money??? I.e. Silver dollar casino

Your argument is weak.....



Also, Valve is fucked. They are going to have to pay out the nose for this one.
 

DocFaustus

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Nice article, thanks modi123.

So what is the problem with letting people gamble with their money? I mean, what does society, or Washington State for that matter lose that makes a compelling case against the individuals freedom to do what they wish with their money?
 

DocFaustus

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Yea, I fail to see whats wrong with online gambling in any form.

I know this is a bit of a moving of the goal post but maybe this will explain what is confusing me more. In my state, playing poker is legal. You are allowed to play it in card houses, casinos, and home games. All for money. But playing poker online was banned nationwide. So something that was legal for me is now illegal just because its online.

Normally laws are enacted because to protect the public good. For example, societies interest in having sober drivers trumps my personal right to drive under the influence. This makes sense. But in this case they are saying gambling is illegal and I cannot figure out why. They allow gambling in the state.

The only conclusion I can come up with is they want a cut of the action but cant figure out how to properly tax it.
 

modi123

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*shrug* Read the brochure?
WaTech ASM Service

My conclusion is addiction. Folks get hooked on the craziest of things - *cough* freemium games */cough*, and if the feds/states can't regulate it the option for large quantities of folks to get in over their head is unchecked.
 

B00nie

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This is something I never liked about CS:GO. My kid (underaged) is gambling there constantly. It's illegal to let minors gamble in my country but Valve is bypassing the laws. To be honest, so do other online gabling sites.
 

reFre5h

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Valve has sent C&D to known sites, they have done due diligence. Obviously they waited til the last second once litigation was threatened, but it's not like they are hosting it themselves. People breaking TOS for the API is not on Valve, I doubt it would hold up in court. But I guess it's vs the govt. so maybe they'll be bent over so WA can get some free money.
 

raz-0

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So if I race for pinks, the auto manufacturers and dealers are conspiring to create a gambling venue?

If I play poker with my buddies and we use toothpicks to represent bets, the supermarket we bought them at is conspiring to create a gambling venue? Only if we declare outside of any involvement with the supermarket that instead of being worth $0.007 a piece, they are worth $5 a piece, get on skype with our buddies who all bought a box and at the end of the night, we settle up via paypal, we hae a massive conspiracy by the supermarket who is amking money off of this, microsoft, and paypal/ebay right?

just because a bookie has a verizon mobile phone doesn't mean verizon is responsible for them running a gambling operation.
 
D

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This is something I never liked about CS:GO. My kid (underaged) is gambling there constantly. It's illegal to let minors gamble in my country but Valve is bypassing the laws. To be honest, so do other online gabling sites.

How exactly is Valve contributing to your child's gambling problem and why is it their responsibility to safeguard and parent your child?
 

Merc1138

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This is something I never liked about CS:GO. My kid (underaged) is gambling there constantly. It's illegal to let minors gamble in my country but Valve is bypassing the laws. To be honest, so do other online gabling sites.

So why the hell are you letting your kid gamble online? You know he's doing it apparently, do your job as a parent and put a stop to it.
 

SvenBent

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CS:GO’s controversial skin gambling, explained | PC Gamer

The gist is in Steam you can purchase/sell items.. then you have that item in the inventory, go to some gambling site to wager on what ever, and give them your item via a bot or what have you. If you win you get money or items or what ever that represent money. Basically folks are abusing Steam's market place by artificially assigning values to CSGO's in game trinket items.

So what im reading ( correct me if im wrong) valve is
a: selling an item
b: providing a transfer method of said item

but
C: the actually gambling has nothing to do with valve.

So if i wire transfer the money i lost in poker. Chase should be held accountable for my gambling ? that is what people are trying to pin on valve?
 

Sgraffite

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So Valve has API endpoints that allow users to trade programmatically and people are using it to facilitate trades to bet on things. Shouldn't they go after the people making the gambling sites?
 

modi123

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They could but that would be hard.. and tedious.. and some aren't even in the US!
 

JDon

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I knew CS was getting out of hand with this, and it would get ugly. I just hope Psyonix does their best to keep Rocket League as clean as possible with it's implementation of a crate and key system. It already sucks because people are too busy trying to line up trades to play the game, but if the developer can be held responsible for this type of thing getting out of hand, I'd hate to see regular players suffer any consequences.
 

qw1cktype1

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I see it as:

Valve created the currency and value due to rarity and cost to unlock.
Valve makes money on transactions and unlocks
Valve created the API to allow this crap
Valve did nothing to stop it until crap hit the fan
Valve now thinks they are innocent?

Sorry guys, but Valve should have shut the door on this a while ago. The second they received revenue from transactions or unlocks, they are in the same boat as the gambling sites.

Gambling should be regulated so it's actually gambling, and not theft (which is part of the reason online gambling is illegal). One of these sites had an guy on video logged in as a bot, which is the shit regulation looks to stop.

Parents need to parent. I get it, and I do my part. This is unregulated gambling and that is why the shit is going to hit the fan.
 

Aix.

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But they are responsible for the gambling that is the whole "buy a key to open a chest" system

I'm guessing the fact that you are guaranteed to receive an item trumps the fact that you're generating a mystery item when you use the key (from a gambling/not gambling perspective).

Also, is there some way for Valve to know that a transaction has occurred between two gambling parties? If people are gambling on third-party sites but simply making "regular" transactions on Valve's infrastructure to settle the bets then I don't see how it's their responsibility to stop it - not when their infrastructure serves a legit purpose as well.
 

buhbuhfet

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Refresh me again - how is Valve responsible for some yahoos running around outside the game gambling on skins or guns? I mean as long as they do a reasonable job managing CS:Go and keep the gambling out of that how are they expected to control outside folks?

scgo is a slot machine for ? skins knives etc, you have to b.u.y. keys to open the drop boxes, thats your tokens,
welcome to the casino? , i'm not against it though, as long as the kids dont get involved, which there are boatloads on csgo
 

chenw

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This is the way I see it:

Imagine that CS:GO's boxes are like booster packs for a Trading card game (for the sake of argument, let's say Magic the Gathering, as this is more farmiliar, but I am only using this as example, nothing else), you buy a booster pack, the cards you get in the pack are random to a certain extent (determined by the card pool and the rarity of each individual cards), much like the way Keys and boxes system work in CS:GO.

CS:GO games and tournaments would be equivalent to MtG championships.

Now, if we take CS:GO's gambling, and then put it into MtG equivalent, the equivalent would be that an underground casino is setup where you can bet your rare cards in hopes of getting a better one.

The said underground casino gets busted.

Would you, legitimately, blame Wizards (the makers of MtG), for allowing such underground casinos to exist?

The two cases are absolutely identical with the only exception that the items we are dealing with are real items vs virtual items, and the fact that Magic cards actually contribute to gameplay than CS:GO skins (which makes zero impact beyond bragging rights), and both are otherwise COMPLETELY WORTHLESS to everyone else uninvolved with the game.

I accept cases only when both of the scenarios are treated equally, despite the practical application differences. Hold one responsible and the other not is not a stance I agree with, regardless of which one is held responsible and the other not.
 
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Wiffle

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All I hear is a bunch of whiny bureaucrats and politicians complaining because they don't get their "cut". Seems like Valve forgot to grease the palms of these individuals.
 
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crusty_juggler

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Valve has sent C&D to known sites, they have done due diligence.
They only sent out C&D letters after being sued. That is the complete opposite of due diligence.

If you erect a fence after your dog bites someone and you're taken to civil court, does that mean you exercised due diligence?
 

B00nie

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So why the hell are you letting your kid gamble online? You know he's doing it apparently, do your job as a parent and put a stop to it.
The option is to ban him from playing CS:Go and I don't consider it an option. I would much prefer Valve to get rid of the gambling.
 

chenw

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This is something I never liked about CS:GO. My kid (underaged) is gambling there constantly. It's illegal to let minors gamble in my country but Valve is bypassing the laws. To be honest, so do other online gabling sites.
How is Valve bypassing the laws?
 

krotch

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So by your logic if I sell poker tokens to people that use it as representing real money. Since i earn some morny on selling the items they are gambling with i should be responsible for something i cant stop?

Or am i just totally missing the points and/or how this is actually being done?

Except that you still have control the poker token. It's not like I'm put my poker chips on a shelf at Walmart and once it's sold, I never see it again or have anything to do with it. Valve has authority/control over that poker token forever.

Deny access to the Steam system for these gambling sites and it stops. Valve can stop it at any time.
 

Exavior

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Yea, I fail to see whats wrong with online gambling in any form.

I know this is a bit of a moving of the goal post but maybe this will explain what is confusing me more. In my state, playing poker is legal. You are allowed to play it in card houses, casinos, and home games. All for money. But playing poker online was banned nationwide. So something that was legal for me is now illegal just because its online.

Normally laws are enacted because to protect the public good. For example, societies interest in having sober drivers trumps my personal right to drive under the influence. This makes sense. But in this case they are saying gambling is illegal and I cannot figure out why. They allow gambling in the state.

The only conclusion I can come up with is they want a cut of the action but cant figure out how to properly tax it.

The issue is regulations. Casinos that you visit in person are regulated to ensure they paying out to people, that they are not overly rigged in favor of the house. That all money is legally obtained.... If you are having some friends over for poker night you are fine. But if you try running a 5000 person poker game in your house every night I think you might find the gambling commission at your door. And yes part of that is taxes also. The problem with online gambling is that nobody is in control. There is no regulation of where the money is going, if they are actually going to pay out to people, if payouts are occurring as they should...

Another part that plays into that is the different states have different laws and as such you aren't allowed to gamble over state lines. What I mean is that I can't run an off site betting location in NY for a horse track in Texas. Because again Texas can't regulate me if I am outside of their state. That is the part that brought online into all of this. You have found a way to get around the old laws and regulations and gamble from anywhere to anywhere. All with zero regulation to protect the people and no way for states to get their share of the taxes from it.

Gambling boarders have always been a problem. I know that city I went to college in had a casino that was on a boat. Gambling wasn't legal there, but if they left the shore about 200 feet out they were in a different state so they got a permit for that state, once the boat left the dock you were able to start gambling then a few hours later it would return to dock and you had to stop while they were docked. I believe there is a place like that near Chicago also that goes out onto lake Michigan for you to gamble while in the water but while in dock it isn't legal.
 
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